The Trump campaign on Tuesday slammed the Biden campaign and the media, claiming a double standard after Dr. Anthony Fauci took issue with President Trump’s team using his comments in their ads, but staying quiet when his comments are used in videos shared by the former vice president’s campaign.
Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said this week that his comments in a recent Trump campaign ad were used without his permission and were “taken out of context.”
FAUCI SAYS HIS COMMENTS IN NEW TRUMP AD ‘WERE TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT’ AND WITHOUT HIS PERMISSION
But the Trump campaign is firing back at Fauci and pointing to ads used and comments made by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“Our ad shows Dr. Fauci accurately, and in his own words, praising the Trump administration’s response to the virus,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told Fox News Tuesday.
“Joe Biden has cherry picked Fauci’s comments when it suits him and there’s been no outrage about that,” Murtaugh added. “Either Fauci’s comments are fair to use in this race, or they’re not. Biden and the media can’t have it both ways.”
Fauci, in his initial complaint about the Trump campaign’s ad, said that in his “nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate.”
“The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials,” Fauci said in a statement.
However, in a video shared by Biden on March 15, the campaign used a clip of Fauci from a hearing on Capitol Hill.
“Dr. Fauci said earlier this week that the lag in testing was in fact a failing,” a reporter is heard saying in the video.
The video then shows a clip of Fauci during a hearing on Capitol saying: “It is a failing—let’s admit it.”
The video, however, is just a video–not an ad, according to a Biden campaign spokesman.
Nevertheless, just two days prior to Biden posting the video, on March 13, Fauci clarified his comments during a press conference.
“When I said that, I meant the system was not designed for what we need,” Fauci said. “Now looking forward, the system will take care of it.”
And on April 8, the former vice president also echoed Fauci’s comments, quoting him as saying the “national testing response was a failing of the administration,” without adding the clarifying context Fauci provided the month earlier.
Fauci did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The Trump campaign’s commercial in question, which is running in the key battleground state of Michigan, was released last week after the president was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Hospital following his coronavirus diagnosis.
In one part of the ad, Fauci is seen saying, “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”
While no date was provided in the commercial, the comment from Fauci came from an interview he gave Fox News in March, where he praised the White House coronavirus task force’s response to the pandemic.
“We’ve never had a threat like this. The coordinated response has been. There are a number of adjectives to describe it—impressive, I think is one of them. We’re talking about all hands on deck. I, as one of many people on a team, I’m not the only person,” Fauci said during an interview on Fox News’ “Life, Liberty & Levin.”
He added: “Since the beginning, that we even recognized what this was, I have been devoting almost full time on this. I’m down at the White House virtually every day with the task force. It’s every single day. So, I can’t imagine that under any circumstances that anybody could be doing more.”
TRUMP SAYS FAUCI’S ‘PITCHING ARM’ IS ‘FAR MORE ACCURATE THAN HIS PROGNOSTICATIONS’
The Trump campaign fired back at Fauci’s comments earlier this week as well, saying that the infectious disease expert had praised the Trump administration’s work in combatting the pandemic and that his comments are “accurate.”
“These are Dr. Fauci’s own words,” Murtaugh said in a statement to Fox News. “The video is from a nationally broadcast television interview in which Dr. Fauci was praising the work of the Trump Administration.”
Murtaugh added: “The words spoken are accurate, and directly from Dr. Fauci’s mouth. As Dr. Fauci recently testified in the Senate, President Trump took the virus seriously from the beginning, acted quickly, and saved lives.”
Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.